"Ireland is a great country and it is going to recover.
There will again be good jobs and opportunities.
This country will be the best place to raise a family, to work, to live and to age with dignity.
Our Republic will be fair, and just, and renewed.
We will pull out of these tough times.
We will succeed.
And tonight, I want to talk about how we are going to do it."
Over the conference we captured all the delegates' speeches which are now compiled into a Conference 2012 playlist. You can find them all at this link.
Opening the session on a 'positive role for Ireland in International and European Affairs', Minister of State for Development, Joe Costello, highlighted the great work done by an Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore in rebuilding Ireland's international reputation. Successes highlighted included the Queen's visit to Ireland, President Obama and Vice President of China, Xi Jinping.
An Tanaiste's role as chairperson of the OSCE was highlighted and his particular focus on human rights promotion, work against corruption, securing the freedom of press, and promotion of conflict prevention and resolution. A conference on press freedom will be hosted by Ireland in May 2012 and a major OSCE conference will be held later in the year.
Every year at the Labour Party Conference we take some time out from debating motions and electing party officers to honour some veteran activists. No politicval movement can survive without volunteers, and it is inspirational to see people who have spent decades fighting for the rights of workers.
This year the Larkin Award was given to Frank Buckley, a long serving county councillor in south county Dublin. Throughout the eighties and nineties Frank was the leader of the Labour Councillors in the county, a role which saw him constantly fighting against the Civil War parties who had decided to set aside their differences in order to rezone vast tracts of agricultural land for the benefit of wealthy developers.
Thanks to the efforts of the Tribunals, we now know why they were so keen on this rezoning, but at the time Frank and his colleagues could only assume the worst. They were right.
When Frak retired from the council in 1998 he stayed active in local politics., training and advising a new generation of activists and representatives. As one of the many people Frank taught to canvass and organise, I was proud to see him honoured at Labour's Centenary Conference.